The ‘tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye’ law in the Old Testament was not really about revenge. It was but meant to moderate the exacting of vengeance when one is seeking redress for an injustice. The punishment should fit the crime, not exceed it.
And yet, Christ would turn even that upside down and he challenges us to forgive instead of seeking redress or recompense. His challenge: “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”
So counter-cultural. So counter-intuitive. Such a contrarian paradox. So very Christ. His clarion call, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
A Call to great generosity.
A Call to unconditional love.
A Call to be a Christian in today’s secular world.